What’s the price you pay for sexual misconduct in corporate Australia? When it comes to AMP, the answer is staggering.
Boe Pahari, the company’s former CEO who was stood down last year after harassing a female subordinate, claimed a whopping $937,724 bonus released in AMP’s annual report yesterday.
Pahari only held the CEO role for a total of 7 weeks meaning his payout amounted to more than $130,000 per week for his tenure. A pretty sweet prize for a man who abused his power relentlessly.
In 2018, Pahari was accused by former AMP employee, Julia Szlakowski of harassment, saying the company boss flew her to London, repeatedly requested she use his credit card to buy clothes so he could take her to dinner, and when she declined told her that she was effectively accusing him of having a “limp dick”.
Pahari also called another employee “a fag”, probed how old Szlakowski’s oldest boyfriend had been, and suggested they continue conversations through WhatsApp to avoid company attention where he bombarded her with late-night text messages.
When Szlakowski returned to the US, she quit her role saying she was traumatised by the experience.
Despite many of Szlakowski’s allegations proven true by a legal inquiry, AMP stood by Pahari. He even freely announced himself as the chairman of the company’s Inclusion and Diversity Council alongside an almost all-male line of managers under him.
It was only in August 2020, amid growing pressure from stakeholders, that he was forced to resign alongside chairman David Murray.
Speaking anonymously with Women’s Agenda about Pahari’s recorded bonus, AMP employee *Stephanie tells us “the damage has been done”.
The fallout from this crisis is simply unfixable– “nearly every woman in the company is trying to leave”, she says. Many female executives have already done so. “The devastation across the organisation and the industry for females who’ve had to put up with that sh*t for so long – but he gets paid nearly $1m as a bonus”.
But ISS head of research Vas Kolesnikoff had a different take, telling Fairfax yesterday that Pahari had “paid a price” and the nearly $1m bonus, was paid for his work overseeing the infrastructure portfolio.
“At the end of the day, does someone get crucified for their behaviour?” Kolesnikoff said. “He’s certainly paid a price. He’s lost the top job”.